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A lot of times people will go into a the scripter helpers forum looking for help on their script, perhaps to start a discussion or to learn how to do something. They quickly discover that they aren't getting the responses they want, and people are generally frustrated with them. In order to get help from people, several things are usually required. In following these guidelines, you're much more likely to get a response and the help you want, and receive it faster too. This leads to everyone being happier - you received your answer quicker, and the people trying to help could help, not complain about you.
General Things to Keep in Mind
Just a few things to keep in mind when asking for stuff, really, any stuff.
- Post in the scripter helpers forum, not the scripters forum. The scripters helpers forum is where people congregate for help. You could also try stack overflow if it's more of a logical, technical question that could be disapplied from ROBLOX, and written in another application, but overall, try to ask scripters forum, and then Scripters forum, and then Stackoverflow.
- Patience - It'll take people a while to answer your question, so don't expect a reply right away. Give it some don't, and don't post another thread about the same problem twice, or continuously bump it. Bump after it's fallen several pages behind, perhaps 12 hours or so after your initial post. Give people time to think and help you.
- Be Specific - We need to know what you want, specifically. Asking for something generic leads nowhere.
- Articulate - We need to understand what you're saying.
When your script isn't working (Error correction)
Many of times, people will, after frustrating hours of work, go ahead and ask for help on the scripters helpers forum, or even the scripters forum. This is great, usually a community can easily find the answer for you, or will detect the error that evaded you for so long. However, there are several things that make people just as frustrated as you are when you're asking for help.
- Use coherent sentences - If they can't understand what you're saying, then they won't/can't help you
- They don't know what it's suppose to do - If the people trying to help you don't know what your script is suppose to do, then there's small chance they can decipher it from your broken script. Include what your script is suppose to do, and how it's going to do it. A good example is "This script is suppose to let users pay 100 gold coins from from the leaderstats.Gold.Value, for gear, but only if they have over 100 gold coins". Don't just post the script!
- They don't know what the error is - This may sound silly, as you don't know what the error is either, but you know more than they do. First of all, if there is any output at all, give it to them. This means you probably have a syntax error, or some other sort of error. Also checkout the confusing error page for help yourself, sometimes this is all it takes. Also take time to explain what isn't working if that's the case. For example, you may say "The script takes the user's money, but only if they have more than 100 gold coins, but it doesn't give them the gear!" If you can pinpoint a line on your script that is breaking, then point it out. Explain what you've tried. Communicating is the key!
- They don't know they can help you - This also may sound silly, but if someone can solve your problem with minimal effort, they'll probably respond. Describe your problem in the title of your forum post describing the main element of your script. An example might be "Script won't give player tool" which nicely summarizes your problem. Titles such as "HELP!!" or "It won't work!" won't get you anywhere and hardly makes someone feel like they could help you because they know something about the subject.
Overall, you need to communicate and fully explain your error to get a response. It's a 2 way connection, the more information you supply, the more information you'll get back.
- Do post for help
- Do NOT just post your script
- Do Take time to write out your problem and explain the situation fully
- Do Explain what your script does
- Do Use a good explaining title
- Do Post any output that you have
- Do Explain what you've tried before and what hasn't worked
- Do Put out any theories you have on why it doesn't work
- Do Provide a link if you have one to a demo of the problem.
- Do NOT make your title something along the lines of "HELP!!1!!"
When you want to know how to do something
Many times people will ask "How do you do [Insert Idea Here]?", looking for something that they can't figure out how to do on ROBLOX. They may want to know how to make a cutscene or how to animate a gui. Whatever the case might be, the scripters helpers forum is a great resource to find that information. However, there are a few things you should do before asking how to do something...
- Look for an example in free models - Free models has almost anything you could want, and is the basis of many games on ROBLOX. Look for an example of what you're trying to do, and even use that script or resource, or modify it to fit your needs! Not only is this quicker, many times the people helping you will just redirect you to them anyway. A quick search of what you're looking for is all you need.
- Search the wiki - Many times the wiki has the information you need. Are you looking for how to do something to a certain object? The ROBLOX wiki has all of ROBLOX's API, and all of the methods associated with objects. You can cleanly find out what each method does, and how it applies. Furthermore, the wiki features many tutorials that can help you. A simple search is all you need.
When you do finally ask, given that you couldn't find the answer by searching (which is much faster and efficient), there are several things that you should keep in mind when asking the forum for help.
- Find an example - Finding an example of it, on ROBLOX, in a ROBLOX game, etc can help the people who are helping you know what you are looking for.
- Explain - Explain exactly what you want, and any attempts you have tried or any ideas you have to accomplish your goal. This will let users know that you're trying, and will perhaps give them their own ideas on how to accomplish the goal, which you can then use.
When you are trying to start a discussion
Sometimes you just want to talk about something and the best way to do it. There's several things you can do that will make this a much better discussion that will invoke more responses.
- Ask questions - If you're sharing something interesting, be sure to give people something to respond with. Ask them what they think, if it could be improved, anything that can allow more discussion. This will let the conversation continue on, versus a few people saying "Hey, that's cool", and then moving on.
- Use grammar - It helps when people can read what you're saying, and it'll make you look more mature. It doesn't have to be perfect, but basic grammar rules are definitely something that applies. The little effort can go a long way.
- Keep it on topic - Select the right forum to drop your question in. If it's not scripting related, put it on the off topic forum, that's where people will go if they want to talk about offtopic stuff.
- Supply lots of information - Comment on stuff, tell them what you think, post everything you know and explain it. The more information available, the more there is to discuss.
If you want someone to make something/change something for you
Often you just get lazy and want someone else to make you something. Scripters forum really isn't the place to get this done, and often the thing you want already exists in free models. Here's several tips to achieve what you want.
- Ask HOW to do it - By asking how to do it (See 'When you want to know how to do something' above) and then asking for an example you can quite often get a good model or resource that you can modify to fit your own needs.
- Don't offer to pay - Transactions between users rarely succeed due to scams, and isn't sanctioned by ROBLOX. You can easily get banned or scammed, and you'll have nothing but yourself to blame. Often, as stated above, the resource sits in free models, waiting for you.
- Find it in free models - Find it in free models, and spiff it up a bit. No need to pay. :)
- Explain in detail - People can't make it for you unless you explain exactly what you want. Explain the mechanics and how it works, explain why you want it, how it'll interact, what the script will know, where the script will be run, etc. etc. There's no way for someone to make something for you unless someone knows what to make, and if sounds cool (Cool does not necessarily mean difficult to make, that generally is not cool when asking for something), someone's going to make it. :D
- Give them your script - This doesn't apply if you're asking for it, but if you want someone to change your script, they'll need it to make any modifications. Publish as a model for best results.
When Starting a Group Project
Many times, you want a scripter to help you on a project. That's great. However, there are several things you need to keep in mind (and to keep in mind when trying to get anyone to join your project.
- Show a demo - You need to show your vision to the scripter. That means an active ROBLOX place that the scripter can visit, or something, whether it be concept art, etc. that you can show to prove Yes, this is a good idea to the world. There are thousands of requests for scripters each month, and only a few advance scripters will be willing to open up to a new project idea. The more progress, the more you can show, the more likely they are to help you.
- Articulate - Speak clearly and fully about your project in the forum post. Try to predict answers, and put effort into your post. Explain fully what it'll be like, what you'll do, and what the world will see. Explain what you want, how you want it, and why it's better.
- Don't offer to pay - As said before, transactions between users rarely succeed due to scams, and isn't sanctioned by ROBLOX. Most scripters aren't here for the fake pseudo ROBLOX money, it's somewhat of a joke to programmers. The fact is money usually isn't a motivator.
- Set realistic deadlines and expectations - You'll need to motivate your scripters by setting realistic deadlines and highlighting exactly what needs to get down, and how, in what method, down to the colour. Leave nothing to second guess. This mean's the scripter can work on what he's suppose to work on - scripting - and you can work on the game design.
- Meelo's law - If you don't know what this is, then you may want to look it up. Yes, it can be broken, but the fact is, scripter's aren't very motivated people, and they definitely don't work well with random scripting styles. If you wish to have more than 1 scripter on a project, make sure that your two scripters have the same coding style, and make sure you set up an Object Oriented Programming system for them to work with. Working with other people's code is a pain. Also be sure to set code standard's and commenting standards.